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African Union

African Union

The African Union (AU) is a political alliance between 54 African nations. Only Morocco is not a member. The African Union was established in May 2001 and replaced the earlier Organization of African Unity (OAU). Important decisions of the African Union are made at semi-annual gatherings of the heads of state of the various members. The AU is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The reason that Morocco is not a member is that it objects to Western Sahara as a member nation, a disputed territory on the west coast.

The aims of the African Union are:

  1. To promote greater unity among the nations and peoples of Africa
  2. Accelerate socio-economic integration of the continent
  3. Promote peace and stability across Africa
  4. Promote sustainable development
  5. Attempt to raise the standard of living of all Africans.

It consists of the Assembly of the African Union, the meeting of the heads of state, plus a representative body, the Pan African Parliament, a 265-member assembly elected by the various national parliaments of the member nations.

The African Union also has the following:

  • An Executive Council, which is made up of the member nation's foreign ministers
  • A Permanent Representatives Committee, comprised of the member nations' ambassadors to Ethiopia
  • An Economic, Social, and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC)

Its headquarters complex is located in Addis Ababa, a gift from the Chinese government.

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